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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New rules on wind farms will kill jobs

From an editorial in the Sheboygan Press:

If Gov. Scott Walker is all about creating jobs for Wisconsin residents, he will back off his support for new rules on wind farms.

Last year, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, in response to inconsistent siting rules adopted by individual communities, held hearings, reviewed scientific information and heard from health experts in an effort to come up with uniform standards sitting rules.

The PSC said the wind turbines, which generate electricity — and are responsible for hundreds of new jobs in Wisconsin already — must be located 1,250 feet from any residence and about 450 feet from property boundaries.

The PSC siting rules take into account the concerns of homeowners and are based on about 150 reports on medical and safety issues.

But new rules, which Walker backs, would put the setback from a residence at 1,800 feet — a distance that wind farm developers contend would drive them out of business and shut the door to this emerging technology and clean-energy process.

Keith Reopelle, the policy director for Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy group, said the rules Walker is backing will jeopardize nearly a dozen wind farm plans in the works.

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